Back in 2008, Google started scanning and archiving old newspapers, making the archives searchable. From the original announcement:
Today, we’re launching an initiative to make more old newspapers accessible and searchable online by partnering with newspaper publishers to digitize millions of pages of news archives. Let’s say you want to learn more about the landing on the Moon. Try a search for [Americans walk on moon] on Google News Archive Search, and you’ll be able to find and read an original article from a 1969 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
This archive has grown to be quite large over the years. Pick a historic event and try your hand at a search. For example, I did this search:
president garfield assassination
The first result was a newspaper article from July 2nd, 1881. The same day he was shot. I find that incredible. Wikipedia is a great resource, but there’s something about reading about a current event as it was reported.
[Hat tip to Follow CV]